How To Make Super Crispy Tempura (Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura)

How To Make Super Crispy Tempura (Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura)

by Mana Sobral

Classic Customizable Kid-Friendly Main Party Food Seafood Shrimp Tempura Vegetarian-Friendly Vegetable

Tempura is a delicious Japanese dish where both seafood and veggies are dipped in a light batter and fried until they're crispy and golden. It's like the Japanese version of fish and chips but with a special twist that makes it super light and crunchy. We've previously shared a gluten-free tempura recipe on our blog, but this time we would like to introduce the original recipe.

The story of tempura dates back to the 1500s when Portuguese people arrived in Japan, bringing with them the idea of frying food in batter. The Japanese adopted and adapted this technique, creating what we now know as tempura. The word "tempura" actually comes from a Latin word used by the Portuguese, showing how this dish has distant roots.

Making tempura batter is simple but needs to be done just right. It uses cold sparkling water, flour, and egg. The cold sparkling water is a neat trick because it stops the batter from soaking up too much oil and creates tiny air pockets when it's fried, keeping the tempura light and not greasy. You can use lots of different ingredients for tempura, like shrimp, fish, and veggies such as sweet potatoes and bell peppers. Each piece gets coated in the batter and fried until it looks just right - crispy and light. Tempura tastes delicious when sprinkled with salt and a splash of lemon. Also, you can dip tempura in a special sauce called tentsuyu, made from soy sauce, a sweet wine called mirin, and fish broth. This sauce adds a yummy depth of flavor.

Tempura can also be served over rice or with noodles, making for a hearty meal. If you go to a restaurant that specializes in tempura, you'll see how much care goes into making it. From picking the freshest ingredients to frying them perfectly, it's all about creating that perfect bite that's crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Tempura showcases how Japan took an idea from another country and made it uniquely their own, creating a dish that's loved by people all around the world for its delicious taste and light, crispy texture.

Overview

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 60 mins

Total servings: 2

Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients
  • 4 Black Tiger Shrimps
  • 4 Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 4 Shishito Peppers
  • 75 g Sweet Potato
  • 30 g Flour
  • 20 g Potato Starch
  • 1 Egg
  • 80 ml Sparkling Water
  • Additional Flour (for dusting tempura)
  • Vegetable Oil, as needed
  • Lemon (garnish, optional)
  • Salt

Expert's Tip

Nisshin Japanese Tempura Flour 450g, Japanese Taste

Making crispy tempura can be tricky, but with Nisshin Japanese Tempura Flour, you’ll turn it into one of your signature dishes in no time!

Instructions

tempura ingredients
cutting the sweet potatoes
removing the stems from shiitake mushrooms

1) Gathering the Ingredients & Recipe Preparations

Gather all of the ingredients together. Thinly slice the sweet potato. Cut off the stems of the Shiitake mushrooms. (If you'd like, you can also carve them. Here are the instructions.)

cutting the tips off of the shrimps
removing the skin except for the tail
cutting part of the top bit off
using a knife to make slits into the shrimp
straightening the shrimps
patting the shrimps dry with paper towels

2) Preparing the Shrimps

Cut off the tip of the tail and remove any dirt. Peel the shrimp but leave the last section near the tail on. Peel the shell off the tip of the shrimp’s tail. Make three or four diagonal cuts along the belly side. Press down on the shrimp’s back to straighten it out. Get rid of the extra moisture with a paper towel.

dusting the vegetables in flour
dusting the shrimp in flour

3) Dusting the Ingredients with Flour

Lightly dust the cut ingredients with flour. Do the same with the shrimp.

adding the dry ingredients to a bowl
adding the beaten egg
mixing beaten egg with sparkling water
combining the wet and dry ingredients
mixing everything to form a batter

4) Making the Tempura Batter

Make the tempura batter before frying.

Mix flour and potato starch in a medium bowl. Pour cold sparkling water and a beaten egg into a small bowl. Mix it well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Lightly mix.

Tip: Do not overmix. Don’t worry if there are lumps in the tempura batter!

dipping the tempura ingredients into the tempura batter

5) Dipping the Ingredients in the Tempura Batter

Dip the ingredients into the tempura batter.

Tip: A light tempura batter allows the colors of the ingredients to shine through, enhancing their appearance.

heating the cooking oil
frying the tempura

6) Frying the Tempura

Pour frying oil into a fryer pot. Heat the oil to 170-175°C. Test it by dropping a bit of batter in; it should sink and then quickly rise to the top. This indicates the oil is hot enough.

When the oil reaches the correct temperature, it's time to fry the tempura! (Fry Shishito Pepper for 1 to 2 minutes, sweet potato for 3 to 4 minutes, Shiitake Mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes, and shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes.)

Tip: Fry in small batches! Frying too many pieces at once can cause the oil temperature to drop quickly.

draining tempura on a tray with a wire rack

7) Draining the Tempura of Excess Oil

Place the freshly fried tempura on a tray with a draining rack, and keep frying more.

8) Enjoying the Tempura

Enjoy freshly fried tempura with a slice of lemon and salt!

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